An interview with Ari Hoenig: Drums were so different … Video

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Jazz interview with jazz drummer Ari Hoenig. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Ari Hoenig: – I grew up in Philadelphia. My parents were both classical musicians and I spent my early years listening to the music of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Chopin as well as American folk music. From a very young age I enjoyed sitting at the piano and composing or improvising.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the drums?

AH: – Until the age of 12 I had played and studied violin and piano. Drums were so different then the classical training I had before and they allowed me to play rock and jazz or any music that I heard on the radio. By age 12, my parents still wanted me to play an instrument and if drums were considered an instrument I was all in.

JBN.S: – What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today?

AH: – The main teachers I had that really shaped my playing and musical identity were, Rob Zollman,. Carl Mottola, Ed Soph, and Ralph Peterson.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

AH: – The main thing I did is to gain the ability and the confidence to practice creatively. Practicing creatively means that if I have an original musical thought to practice that and develop it even more.  There was never a shortage of ideas but I did have to organize my thoughts to see which ideas were the most valuable and unique.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

AH: – Mainly there is just one approach I use and it’s an exercise involving clapping and singing. It’s all layed out clearly in my rhythm training method available here

https://www.mymusicmasterclass.com/premiumvideos/rhythm-training-for-musicians-masterclass-ari-hoenig-1/

I strongly suggest that anyone interested in improving their time or rhythmic vocabulary go through this method.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album: <The Pauper and the Magician>, how it was formed and what you are working on today. Next year your fans like we can wait for a new album?

AH: – The song the Pauper and the Magician is probably the most difficult music I have written thus far. The quintet is fantastic and they all did a wonderful job interpreting this and the other the songs on the record. I also love the trailer video I worked on with Steve Brickman.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XSy1RXbkJY

At the moment I’m on a tour with my European quartet and I’m working on a new record with Nasty Factorz, an electronic music project I’m doing with Gael Horellou. My next record is due out on Fresh sound around January of 2018. On it are my versions of jazz standards and it will be called “NY Standard”.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

AH: – I have really been making a lot of new progress and building inspiration in my work with electro jazz so I hope that will continue.

JBN.S: – What’s Your current setup.

AH: – I play Yamaha drums, Bosphorus cymbals, Evans heads and Vater sticks.

Details are available on my website gear page. http://arihoenig.com/gear/

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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